Tips and Hints

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Choosing the Right Canoe

How difficult can it be choosing the right canoe? With over 900 different models out there to choose from and each manufacturer having their own classification it's easy to see why people end up buying the wrong canoe. The wrong canoe can cause safety issues and take away from the enjoyment of your trip. The following will help you in choosing the right canoe.

Shape, size, and construction will suit all different performance requirements. How will you use your canoe? Will you want to river paddle, lake paddle, or both? Will you want to paddle solo, tandem or triple? How far will your trips take you? Will you be portaging? How heavy of a canoe can you carry? Will it be used for casual use or will it be used for hunting and fishing? These questions will help you find the right canoe for you.

Try out as many canoes as can before you make a purchase. Try them out in the kind of water conditions you intend to use them in. Using the same manoeuvres in each hull will show you how each one is different in its response. Try loading the canoes to see how they change in their performance. Talk to a dealer who is experienced in canoeing, they will be able to give you professional input in what you're looking for. If you have the right canoe, you will spend more time out on the water.

A canoe with a flatter bottom is steadier, however you lose some speed. A flat-bottomed canoe is good for cottage use, fishing and novice paddlers. The rounder the bottom is the swifter your canoe is, but you lose some stability. A rounded bottom canoe is more manoeuvrable and has better speed which is good for expeditions and touring.

The length and beam will determine the weight, speed, manoeuvrability, carrying capacity, and the number of people that will be able to paddle the canoe. Know the carrying capacity of the canoe so you will know if it will it meet your load requirements for its intended use and maintain its performance.